An official restriction on the use of hosepipes, imposed by a particular water company on its customers during a water shortage: hosepipe bans are already in force across much of the South East
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- Neighbours have been reluctant to report each other for breaking hosepipe bans and only small numbers have called hotlines since water restrictions were brought in for millions of householders a week ago.
- Meanwhile, although Thames Water reported a drop in profits because of lower usage, millions were risking heavy fines by ignoring hosepipe bans to water their gardens and clean their cars.
- Although some hosepipe bans remained in force until the end of the year, the lengthy water shortage which had begun in November 2004 effectively ended in September.